“As I have said many times,” Stan commented one morning while we waited for Ricky to bring our breakfast, “I think the apostle Paul was amazingly gifted at writing volumes in a single sentence or phrase.”
“I bet you have another one,” I replied with a smile.
“I do,” Stan said. “Earlier this morning I was focusing on what Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy, and I saw what seems to me to be a one-sentence answer for help in understanding what God says.”
“Wow,” I replied, “it must be a long sentence!”
“Nope,” Stan said. “The version of the Bible I was reading had it at thirteen words.”
“Thirteen words explaining how to get help in understanding what God says?” I replied. “You must be kidding!”
“Not kidding,” Stan replied. “It seems to me that what Paul wrote to Timothy, and actually what he wrote to each one of us, has a three-step key.”
“Which is what?”
“First,” Stan said, “I need to read God’s word. Second, I need to consider what I read. Then comes the third step of asking God to give me understanding.”
“Actually,” he added with a smile, “there’s a fourth step of listening to what God has to say in response!”
“Nice neat package,” I responded. “Read, consider, ask, listen. I guess that if more people spent time on those steps, they would have a greater understanding of God and what He has to say.”
“You, my friend,” Stan replied, “are a master at the understatement! It’s more than a guess. I would put it in the category of fact!”
Bible verses to consider:
Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. 2 Timothy 2:7.
And when Philip had run up, he heard him (the Egyptian eunuch) reading Isaiah the prophet and said to him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” Acts of the Apostles 8:30-31.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want me to understand all you have for me through your written word and through the voice of your Holy Spirit. Thank you, too, for showing me that the steps to that understanding require that I read your word, listen to your voice, consider what I see and hear, ask you for help in understanding, and listen to your response. I confess that too often I do not follow your steps and, as a result, I do not understand as fully as you intend. Please forgive that foolish approach to knowing and understanding you and your will. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead into the deepest possible relationship with you based on knowing and understanding. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you know and understand God in the sense of having accepted His free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him when your time here is completed? If no, why? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with pursuing your knowledge and understanding of God on this side of eternity? Do you regularly read and consider what He has to say to you in His word and through His voice? Do you ask Him for help in understanding? If you sense the need for change in how you seek to know and understand God, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?